Rain helps fire crews make progress on northern Interior fires

(Fairbanks, Alaska) – Scattered showers and high relative humidity has slowed activity on several fires in northeastern Alaska but conditions remain primed for ignition in the Yukon Flats where high temperatures and dry fuels continue. Two fires ignited Monday, and one was attacked by smoke jumpers bringing the number of staffed fires to four in northeast Interior Alaska. Most fires in the region are not threatening people or property and are being monitored.

Photo of the Porcupine Fire.
The Porcupine Fire (249) burns north of a slough of the Draanjik River but remains south of the Porcupine River. Photo by Robert Yaeger, BLM AFS

The Porcupine Fire (#249) started Saturday and is burning about 17 miles northeast of Fort Yukon in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Although the fire didn’t grow significantly on Monday, it is now estimated at 185 acres with most growth reported on Sunday. Crews have been taking advantage of winds to prioritize work. Northeast winds have prevented fire spread to the east allowing fire crews to focus on the north, south and western boundaries. Fire Boss scooper planes have been used to reduce fire activity along the western boundary as crews on the north and south work towards each other to tie in fire lines. Crews plan to finish the western boundary by Wednesday and shift their focus to the eastern boundary. Boats are transporting crews to work areas by boat, and additional crews have been ordered to help with mop up. Aviation and ground resources are also responding to spot fires as they appear.  

The Alfred Creek Fire (#215) and Old Lost Fire (#234) burning 11 miles east of Stevens Village were very quiet on Monday showing few smokes in the Interior and none on the perimeter. Rain overnight, overcast and high relative humidity have reduced fire activity from both fires. Chena Hotshots are doing point protection on  allotment cabins with hose lays and sprinklers and continue to identify and map allotment boundaries and cabins. Some of the land is very wet so crews are identifying areas where fire lines can be constructed and brushing out the wetter areas along allotment boundaries. Much of the land between the fire and allotments is very marshy which helps slow the progress of the fires. Northeast winds are forecast Tuesday which will continue to push the Old Lost Fire toward the Alfred Creek Fire.

Map of Nine Mile Lake and Porcupine fires.
The Nine Mile Lake fire (#270) is burning about 40 miles south of Fort Yukon, while the Porcupine fire (#249) is 17 miles east. Map prepared on June 16, 2020. For a pdf of this map click here.

Nine Mile Lake Fire (#270) was started by lightning on Monday and is estimated at 10 acres burning about 30 miles south of Fort Yukon. Eight smoke jumpers and two Fire Boss scooper planes were deployed and have made progress towards containment.

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511. For a pdf copy of this update click here.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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